|Publication number||US3763963 A|
|Publication date||Oct 9, 1973|
|Filing date||Feb 8, 1972|
|Priority date||Feb 8, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3763963 A, US 3763963A, US-A-3763963, US3763963 A, US3763963A|
|Original Assignee||Wisznia W|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (9), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Wisznia METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR INDIRECT VISUAL COMMUNICATION  Inventor: Walter Wisznia, 712 Buffalo,
Corpus Christi, Tex. 78401  Filed: Feb. 8, 1972  Appl. No.: 224,460
Great Britain 186/1 C Primary ExaminerEvon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-M. F. Maffei Attorney-Burns, Doane, Benedict, Swecker & Mathis  ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for establishing indirect visual communication between one or more vehicle stations, positioned adjacent a drive-in bank having one or more receiving or teller stations fashioned in the exterior walls thereof. A specular or reflective unit is fixedly positioned adjacent each vehicle station. Each specular unit has connected thereto a remotely controllable adjustable specular member capable of being adjusted to reflect a line of sight between the adjacent vehicle station and any one of the drive-in bank receiving stations. Further, a pneumatic conveyor unit is positioned adjacent each specular unit to transfer physical items between the vehicle station and any one of the bank receiving stations.
4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED SET 91973 SiiZET 18F 2 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR INDIRECT VISUAL COMMUNICATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a method and apparatus for establishing indirect visual communication between one or more vehiclestopping stations positioned adjacent a drive-in bank and one or more receiving or teller stations positioned within the bank. Moreover the invention specifically relates to a specular unit positioned adjacent each vehicle stopping station for adjustably reflecting a line of sight between a selected vehicle stopping station and a selected one of a plurality of drive-in teller windows.
The banking community, like many other service industries, continually evaluates and strives to improve the quality and character of its operations and facilities in an attempt to better serve the public. One of the many points of evidence supporting this conclusion may be found by reference to the industries creative development and acceptance of quick service drive-in banking techniques whereby the customer may remain in his automobile while engaging in conventional teller transactions.
More particularly a conventional drive-in banking facility includes a teller unit fashioned into the side of a bank building. The teller unit is exteriorly faced with a large shatterproof glass window which permits direct visual communication between a customer and the teller. A vehicle stopping station is designated adjacent the teller window sothat the customer may drive his automobile alongside the drive-in teller facility. Oral communication between the teller and the customer is provided by a standard two-way audio amplification system and the base of the teller window is provided with an extensible and retractable tray so that physical items such as deposit slips, cash, checks and the like may be transferred between the teller and the customer seated in his automobile at the vehicle stopping station.
In certain suburban locations of concentrated banking activity, the above discussed drive-in teller unit fashioned into the side of the main banking building may be supplemented by one or more drive-in islands or teller units. These island units are designed to be self-sufficient and are generally identical in construction and operation as the main drive-in window with the exception of being remotely located with respect to the main banking facility.
While such banking operations and facilities have gained wide acceptance and use in the past, room for significant improvement remains.
More particularly direct visual communication between a bank teller and a customer increases the potential risk of injury of the teller during a robbery, notwithstanding the shatterproof character of the teller window.
Further island locations are often too remote to accommodate a full complement of drive-in banking transactions, and therefore require frequent trips by the teller to and from the island and the main banking building.
Additionally, it will be readily appreciated that conventional facilities require a teller in attendance at each operating drive-in vehicle stopping station. This procedure often creates inefficiencies in bank personnel management during fluctuating business traffic.
Also, it is difficult for a teller or supervisor to monitor or assist at any one of a plurality of banking drive-in stations from a central location without physically walking to the particular station.
It would therefore be highly desirable to provide a method and apparatus which will minimize any danger to teller personnel during an attempted robbery, elimi nate manned island locations without diminishing the volume capacity of the banking operation, while providing an overseer capability without the requirement of the physical attendance of a head teller at each drive-in location.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a general object of the invention to provide a method and apparatus which will obviate or minimize problems of the type previously described.
It is a particular object of the invention to provide a drive-in banking method and apparatus which will eliminate direct visual communication between a customer and a bank teller.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a method and apparatus which will eliminate the need for banking personnel at an island teller station.
It is a still further of the invention to provide a method and apparatus whereby a single teller may serve one or more vehicle drive-in or stopping stations.
It is another object of the invention to provide a method and apparatus whereby a head teller or overseer may monitor any one of a plurality of drive-in vehicle stopping stations from a fixed location.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a method and apparatus for drive-in banking which will maximize teller safety, personnel management efficiency,and speed and convenience to the banking customers.
It is yet a still further object of the invention to provide a specular unit with a remote adjustment capability with respect to three orthogonal axes.
It is an additional object of the invention to provide a specular unit which may be locked or sealed at night to prevent vandalism and further present a compact attractive appearance when not in use.
BRIEF SUMMARY One preferred form of the invention intended to accomplish at least some of the foregoing objects comprises a drive-in banking system including one or more vehicle stopping stations located adjacent a drive-in banking building, one or more bank teller units provided in the drive-in banking building and one adjustable specular unit fixedly positioned adjacent each one of the vehicle stopping stations, so that a line of sight may be directed toward the adjustable specular unit from customer positioned at the vehicle stopping station and reflected from the adjustable specular unit to one or more of the drive-in bank teller windows.
The particular specular unit for providing visual communication between a station positioned exteriorly of a building and station positioned within the building includes a housing positioned exteriorly and adjacent the builiding, a specular member connected to the housing, first power adjustment means connected to, the housing and the specular member for pivoting the specular member about a horizontal axis and second power adjustment means connected to the housing and the specular member for pivoting the specular member about a vertical axis.
THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 comprises a plane view of a banking system including a plurality of vehicle stopping stations with a specular unit positioned adjacent each vehicle stopping station capable of reflecting a line of sight to any one of a plurality of teller units positioned within a banking building;
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a specular unit adjustable about three orthogonal axes;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the specular unit illustrated in FIG. 2, partially broken away to show interior members thereof;
FIG. 4 is a partial isometric view of the interior of the specular unit disclosing particularly the mechanism for adjusting the specular member along the central generally vertical housing axis;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view takn along section line 5-5 in FIG. 3, disclosing particularly the mechanism for adjusting the specular member about the central generally vertical housing axis;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of FIG. 5 disclosing the arcuate character of a rack positioned on the underside of the specular unit housing; and
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along section line 77 in FIG. 3, disclosing the rear surface of the specular member and particularly the mechanism for adjusting the specular member about a horizontal axis.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Banking System Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there will be seen a plan view of an embodiment of the invention disclosing the elements and one form of their relationship forming the subject banking system.
More particularly a banking building 10 having exterior walls 12 is provided with one or more drive-in teller installations 14. Each teller installation 14 is exteriorly faced with a shatterproof window 14a and interiorly provided with the appropriate supplies, cash, recording machines and the like to handle standard teller transactions. Each installation is also provided with a control panel 15 to enable a teller to actuate and regulate visul,audio and pneumatic dispatch systems in a manner which will be more fully discussed hereinafter.
A driveway 16 is provided adjacent but exterior of the building. The driveway is marked with suitable directional indicia such as, for example, arrows 17 fixedly applied to the surface thereof to generally guide proper vehicle flow. The driveway 16 is further marked with strips which normally extend to a curb 19 thus delineating vehicle stopping stations 20 to accommodate a plurality of customer driven automobiles 22. Positioned adjacent each stopping station 20 is a specular unit 24. The specular unit forms a specific apparatus aspect of the invention and therefore will structurally be discussed more fully hereinafter. For the present, however, it is relevant to note that each specular unit 24 is provided with an adjustable specular member 26 suitable to receive and reflect a line of sight 28 between a customer seated in an automobile 22 and a teller positioned at any installation 14'.
Positioned adjacent each specular unit 24 is a pneumatic dispatch receiving-delivery unit 32. Pneumatic transfer conduits schematically illustrated at 34 extend from the dispatch receiving and delivery units to a common switching node 36 having branch lines 38 and 40 extending to the teller installations 14. The pneumatic dispatch units per se do not form a part of the invention and conventional systems may be utilized, such as specifically described in those patents classified in CLASS 243 entitled PNEUMATIC DISPATCH. Functionally, however, the dispatch system will be described more fully below.
Conventional two-way audio amplification systems are also installed adjacent or attached to the dispatch units so that audio communication may be provided between a customer and any of the teller installations 14.
As previously mentioned each teller installation is provided with a control panel 15 having conventional power circuits connected to the visual, audio and pneumatic dispatch systems to actuate and/or regulate these systems. The control power circuits per se do not form a specific aspect of the invention and conventional units or circuits may utilized such as for example described in those patents classified in CLASS 317 entitled ELECTRICITY.
In operation, the system as specificially illustrated in FIG. 1 functions approximately as follows. One or more vehicles 22 may be accommodated at the vehicle stopping stations 20. The customer, upon stopping at a station is serviced by a teller 42 positioned before the control panel 15 in a teller installation 14. Visual communication may be established between the customer and the teller servicing the customer by vertical and horizontal pivotal adjustment of the specular member 26, positioned upon the specular unit 24 fixed adjacent to the vehicle stopping station 20. Physical items may be transferred through the pneumatic dispatch system and audio communication may be provided by conventional two-way amplification systems as currently utilized in drive-in banking operations.
It will be realized that one teller may service both stations 20 during relatively light business periods. Further while FIG. I specifically illustrates only two vehicle stop stations 20 and only two drive-in teller units 14, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that a larger number of vehicle stopping staitons and/or teller units may be utilized according to the particular banking facility design. Further, it will be realized that the teller stations 14 are not limited to approximately the eye level of a person positioned within a vehicle but rather one or more teller stations 14 may be fashioned within the building relatively elevated with respect to other stations.
Further, an overseer window may be positioned above the level of the teller units 14 with controls to override the individual teller controls and establish communication with any of the plurality of vehicle stopping stations and the customer there located and with any one of the plurality of teller installations 14. Specular Unit Referring now to FIG. 2 there will be seen an isometric illustration of a specular unit 24 including a housing body or shell 50 comprising a generally closed hollow rectangular box having a bottom 51 (note FIG. 3), side walls 52 and an upper end wall 54 with a circular aperture 56 fashioned centrally therethrough.
A horizontal member 58 is fashioned from a circular plate and is compatibly dimensioned with aperture 56 to enable positioning therein. The horizontal member 58 serves to carry a pair of spaced pivot brackets 60. Positioned between brackets 60 and pivotally connected thereto is a specular member 26 having an outer frame 62 which functions to protect and carry a specular surface 64.
The specular surface 64 may be constructed from a silvered glass mirror, a highly polished metallic surface or other conventional reflective devices. Further, while specular surface 64 is disclosed as being planar, convex and concave configurations are contemplated in those instances where convenience dictates their utilization.
The specular unit 24 is further provided with a central generally vertical column member 70 which serves to'support in a horizontal posture a cover plate 72. The cover plate 72 extends generally parallel and coextensive with the horizontal member 58 and functions to protectively cover the specular member 26.
As previously mentioned, the specular member 26 is adjustable with respect to the housing body 50 vis-a-vis three orthogonal axes. More particularly the horizontal member 58 is vertically adjustable with respect to any axis lying in the base 51 by a distance A-A1 and is rotatably adjustable about a central axis 59 as indicated by arrows B-B'. Further,the specular member 26 is horizontally pivotally connected about a horizontal axis 61 between brackets 60 mounted on the circular plate 58 and may be pivotally adjusted as indicated by arrows C-C.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 3, the means for adjusting the specular member 26 with relation to the three orthogonal axes is specificially illustrated. More particularly, vertical adjustment of horizontal member 58 along the central housing column 70 is provided by a power actuation adjustment mechanism 74. Pivotal movement of the horizontal member 58 as indicated by arrows B-B' about the central housing column 70 is provided by power actuation adjustment mechanism 76. Finally, adjustment of the specular member 26 about the horizontal axis 61 between the pivot brackets 60 is provided by power actuation adjustment mechanism 78.
Referring now to FIG. 4 there will be seen a partially broken away isometric view of the specular unit 24 specifically illustrating the power actuation adjustment mechanism 74 for raising and lowering the horizontal member 58 with respect to the specular unit housing upper surface 54 or base 51.
More particularly the mechanism 74 includes a thrust bearing 80 fixedly connected by spot welding or mechanical fasteners to the under surface of the horizontal member 58 and coaxially and slidably received upon the central housing column 70. I
A pair of parallel arms 84 are pivotally connected at one end to a lower collar member 82 of the thrust bearing 80 at 83. The free ends of the arms 84 are in turn pivotally connected to a second pair of parallel arms 86 at 88.
The pivotal connection at 88 comprises a spacing arm 90 having recesses in the ends thereof for the reception of machine bolts 92. Washers 94 space the machine bolts 92 from the arms 84 and 86 to provide a pivotal connection.
The other ends of the second pair of arms 86 are tapered together and fixedly connected to a spur gear segment 96 as by welding, brazing or other conventional fastening techniques. A pivotal bearing stud 98 is positioned through the connection between the second pair of arms 86 and the spur gear segment 96 to pivotally connect the arms 86 and gear segment 96 to a bracket 100 which is fixedly connected to the floor 51 of the specular housing body 50.
Further, fixedly connected to the bracket is a conventional electric motor drive unit 104 which is connected through a drive train system 106 to a driving spur gear 108 and controlled from any control panel in any teller station 14. The spur gear 108 meshes with and serves to drive the spur segment 96 about the pivotal bearing stud 98. The electric motor drive unit 104 may comprise a rotary or linear motor suitable to drive spur gear 108 according to input signals regulated from the control panel 15 within a teller station 14.
While an electric motor drive means is specifically illustrated and preferred, other drive means such as, for example, pneumatic of hydraulic are contemplated and may be utilized.
The horizontal member 58 is provided with a plurality of L-brackets 110 which support bearing rollers 112. The bearing rollers 112 maintain contact with the under side of the housing surface 54 when the specular member 26 is in an extended posture. These rollers 112 provide suitable bearing contact with the housing shell so as to permit stable rotation of the horizontal member 58 about the central housing column 70.
An upright standard 114 is fixedly attached to the housing floor 51 by a conventional fastener at 1 16. The standard is provided at its upper end with an inverted J-shaped retaining hook 118, suitable to engage the spacing rod 90 between the first and second pair of arms 84 and 86 when the horizontal member 58 has extended sufficiently for the rollers 112 to contact the under side of the housing plate 54.
An elevational assist tension spring is connected between the under surface of the housing 54 (note particularly FIG. 3), and the spacing rod 90. This tension spring is in a relatively relaxed mode when the horizontal member 58 is in a raised posture and the roller bearings 112 abut against the under side of the housing surface 54.
The central housing column 70 is coaxially. and telescopically received upon a bearing shaft 121 fixedly connected to the floor 51 of the specular unit body 50 by a conventional base unit 124.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6 there will be seen a power actuation adjustment mechanism 76 specifically designed to rotate horizontal member 58 about axis 59, as depicted by arrows 18-13 in FIG. 2.
The central housing column 70 is provided with a coaxial collar 122 (not FIG. 4) pivotally received thereupon. Collar 122 has attached thereto a normally extending cantilever arm 124 (not FIG. 3), which pivotally guides an electric motor drive unit 126 controlled from any control panel 15 within any teller station 14. The output of unit 126 is delivered through pulley 128, connected by a belt 130, to an intermediate pulley 130 which serves to drive spur gear 132.
Intermediate pulley 130 is fixedly supported by a bifurcated bracket 134 (note FIG. 3) to the under surface of the horizontal member 58. Spur gear 132 is matingly connected to an arcuate rack 136 biased in a downward direction by springs 138 surrounding supporting rods 14-0 connected to the housing end wall 54. The rack therefore is resiliently biased into engagment with the driving spur gear 132.
Referring now to FIG. 7 there is illustrated a further power actuation adjustment mechanism 78 suitable to pivot the specular member 26 about the horizontal axis 61 between pivot bracket 60, as specifically illustrated by arrows C-C in FIG. 2.
More particularly, the back or nonreflective surface 140 of the specular member 26 is provided with a normally extending pair of brackets 142 (note FIG. 3) which are fixedly connected by conventional fastening means, such as threaded fasteners, welding, brazing, etc. to the specular member 26. At the outer extremities of the brackets 142 elongated apertures or slots 144 are provided to receive a pivotal spacing and bearing member 146.
The bearing member 146 comprises a spacing cylinder member 148 axially dimensioned to abut against the inside surfaces of the brackets 142. The ends of the spacing member 148 are provided with washers 150 held by threaded connectors 152. Bearing members 146 is therefore free to pivot and also translate along the axis of the elongated slot 144.
The spacer member 148 is provided with a threaded bore normally extending therethrough for receiving the compatibly threaded end of a connecting shaft 154. The free end of the connecting shaft 154 is provided with a stop collar 156 to prevent travel of the cylinder 148 off of the end of the connecting shaft 154. The other end of shaft 154 is connected to an electric motor drive unit 158 which is controlled from any control panel 15 within any teller station 14.
In operation it will be appreciated that the above described mechanism provides adjustment with respect to three orthogonal axes in the direction indicated in FIG. 2 by arrows A-A', 13-8 and C-C'.
More particularly, vertical raising and lowering of the specular member 26 is provided by power drive mechanism 74 to raise and lower the horizontal member 58 a distance A-A'. The power drive mechanism 74 is actuated from any control panel 15 in any one of the teller stations 14.
Actuation of the electric motor drive 104 rotates spur gear 108 mated with spur gear segment 96. This rotational movement serves to rotate second bracket arms 86 about the pivot stud 98. This motion serves to pivotally raise the lower first arms 84 which in turn are connected to a lower collar 82 of the thrust bearing 80. This, the horizontal member 58 may be lowered until the cover 72 is flush with the top surface of the specular unit 50 into a locked storage mode or may be extended so that it is flush with the top surface whereupon the specular member 26 is in an operational posture.
Following extension, the specular member 26 may be pivotally adjusted about a vertical axis 59 as indicated by arrows 5-8 by rotation of the horizontal member 58 about the central housing column 70.
Actuation of electric motor unit 126 serves to drive spur gear 132 through the pulleys 128 and 130 along rack 136. Pulley 130. however, is suspended from a bifurcated bracket 134 which is fixedly connected to the under surface of horizontal member 58. Therefore, advancement of spur gear 132 rotates the motor 126 and drive train connected to the hosizontal member 58 thus rotating or oscillating the specular member 26 about the central column axis as indicated by arrows 8-8 in FIG. 2.
Horizontal pivotal adjustment is provided by actuation of electric motor unit 158 which rotates shaft 154. Shaft 154 is threadedly received within the cylinder 148. Rotation of connecting shaft 154 serves to raise or lower cylinder 148 toward or away from the horizontal member 58 depending upon the direction of rotation of shaft 154. Raising or lowering of spacing cylinder 148 serves to tilt the specular member 126 pivotally sup ported between brackets 60 about the horizontal member 58 and thus provide horizontal pivotal adjustment as specifically illustrated by arrows C-C' in FIG. 2.
SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR ADVANTAGES It will be appreciated that the above described method and apparatus provides an indirect visual com munication system between any one of a plurality of drive-in banking vehicle stopping stations and any one of a plurality of teller receiving stations. Further a single teller may serve more than one vehicle stopping station to maximize the efficiency of bank personnel.
Other significant aspects of the method and apparatus invention includes increased teller safety, overseer capability, and increased speed and convenience for the banking customer.
A significant apparatus aspect of the invention includes a specular unit wherein the specular surface may be adjusted from a remote location with respect to three orthogonal azes. Further, the unit may be stored in a compact posture to prevent vandalalism when not in use and create a neat and appealing aesthetic appearance. Further, a high degree of adjustability is provided so that the specular unit may serve to stablish indirect visual communication between a vehicle position adjacent the specular unit and any one of a plurality of teller stations positioned within an adjacent bank which may be vertically or horizontally spaced from one another.
While the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that additions, deletions, modifications, substitutions and other changes not specifically described may be made which will follow within-the purview of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for providing indirect visual communication between a station positioned exteriorly of a building and a station positioned within a building comprising:
a housing positioned exteriorly and adjacent said building;
a central generally vertical housing column having a vertical axis;
a specular member connected to said housing;
first power adjustment means connected to said housing and said specular member for pivoting said specular member about a horizontal axis; and second power adjustment means connected to said housing and said specular member for pivoting said specular member about a vertical axis, whereby the horizontal and vertical components of the angle of incidence between the station positioned exteriorly of the building and adjacent said housing and the central portion of said specular member may be adjusted to be substantially identical with the horizontal and vertical components respectively of the angle of incidence between the station positioned with the building and the central portion of said specular member wherein said second power adjustment means comprises,
of incidence between the station positioned exteriorly of the building and adjacentsaid housing and the central portion of said specular member may be adjusted to be substantially identical with the horia horizontal member connected to said housing gontal and vertical components respectively of the and supporting said specular member, said horiangle of incidence between the station positioned zontal member having a central aperture rotatwithin the building and the central portion of said ably encompassing said generally vertical central specular member; and housing column; and third power adjustment means connected to said power actuation means connected between said housing for raising and lowering said specular housing and said horizontal member for rotating member with respect to said housing; including said horizontal member about said housing cola thrust bearing collar positioned within said housumn whereby said specular member may be piving and coaxially slidably connected to said cenoted about said vertical axis. including tral vertical housing column, said thrust bearing an electric motor drive unit; collar abutting against said horizontal member;
a cantilever arm connected to said drive unit at one and power actuation means connected between end and freely rotationally mounted about said said thrust bearing collar and said housing for adcentral housing column at the other end; vancing and retracting said thurst bearing collar,
drive train means supported from the lower surface said horizontal member and said specular memof said horizontal member and connected at one her vertically with respect to said housing.
3. An apparatus for providing indirect visual communication as defined in claim 2 wherein said power actuation means comprises:
a first arm pivotally connected at one end to said thrust bearing collar;
a second arm pivotally connected at one end to the end to said electric motor drive unit for transferring power from said electric motor drive unit; and
an arcuate rack connected to said housing and having teeth mating with a portion of said drive train means, whereby actuation of said electric motor drive unit serves to advance said drive train means along said arcuate rack thus rotating said drive train means, said electric motor drive, said horizontal member and said specular member about said generally vertical central housing column.
free end of said first arm;
a spur gear segment fixedly connected to the free end of said second arm;
a bracket fixedly connected to said housing and pivan electric motor drive means connected to said housing for driving said first and second arms, including a driving spur gear matingly connected to 2. An apparatus for providing indirect visual communication between a station positioned exteriorly of a building and a station positioned within the building comprising: said spur gear segment, whereby actuation of said a housing positioned exteriorly and adjacent said electric motor drive means pivots said second arm building; about the pivot connection of said second arm and said bracket which in turn drives the first arm and advances and thrust collar bearing vertically along said central housing column to raise and lower said horizontal member and said specular member. 4. An apparatus for providing indirect visual communication as defined in claim 3 and further comprising: a generally horizontal cover plate mounted parallel with the above said horizontal member and above a specular member connected to said housing;
a horizontal member connected to said housing and supporting said specular member and a central, generally vertical housing column;
first power adjustment means connected to said housing and said specular member for pivoting said specular member about a horizontal axis;
a second power adjustment means connected to said housing and said specular member for pivoting said said specular member for providing a cover for said specular member about a vertical axis, where by specular member. the horizontal and vertical components of the angle
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|U.S. Classification||186/37, 359/876, 902/33, 359/877|